When Tina Ellis received a call earlier than she had expected that an apartment home had become available at Seabrook, the first thought that entered her mind was, "Why wait a year?"
She had joined the priority list at the Erickson Living developed and managed retirement community in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, in 2016 assuming she'd attend events and learn about the community for a couple of years while waiting for her ideal apartment home to become available.
She was tired of going up and down the steps of her townhouse. She was tired of cleaning unused space. And she was tired of cooking for one person.
"I had no idea Laurie (Williamson, Seabrook's personal moving consultant) would call me so soon. She said they had an apartment available and asked if I wanted to take a look. I figured there was no harm," Ellis recalls.
When she toured the apartment home—a light-filled one-bedroom, one-bath style with large, open kitchen—she knew she didn't want to let this opportunity slip through her fingers.
"I love my apartment. It's just enough to keep clean," Ellis says, adding that she doesn't miss a thing from her townhouse.
"I think I have more benefits here, even without a garage and my side-by-side refrigerator. It's those little things you get used to, but it's not something that would have deterred me from coming here. You could stay here for four days and never miss a beat. Anything that I've missed is negligible. I could say I don't even miss it anymore," she says.
"Tina is a great example of someone who is truly embracing the lifestyle here at Seabrook. She moved in with the idea of living a more worry-free life, and she's able to do that here," says Associate Executive Director Jennifer McNamara.
With the on-site restaurants, medical center, CVS Pharmacy, market, fitness and aquatics center, a theater, and several classrooms for meetings and activities, Ellis says, "They offer everything."
Even an on-site playground keeps her grand-niece (3) and -nephew (6) occupied when Tina babysits them twice a week.
"When the weather's nice we'll go down to the playground. We'll walk down to the pond. They'll chit chat with a lot of people. It's been wonderful to be able to take care of them," says Ellis, who has no children of her own.
While the youngsters occupy a lot of her schedule, Ellis has found time to participate in some of Seabrook's more-than 120 clubs and activities.
She's joined line dancing as a way to meet new friends.
She's joined the pet lovers club on behalf of her two cats, Kylee and Darla (whom she says have become much more sociable since moving to Seabrook).
She's joined a group that crochets baby blankets.
She's joined a group that plays Rummikub weekly.
And she's attended Protestant services at Seabrook, even though her own church is just a mile and a half away.
When considering all the factors that brought Ellis to Seabrook in May 2017, she says, "There's no worries—that's the biggest thing."
That includes worries about bills, stairs, and future care should she ever need it. A convenient monthly service package covers nearly all living expenses including a meal plan. She's traded worries about falling on stairs for one-level living. And she has peace of mind knowing a full continuum of care is available on site should her health needs ever change.
"That's the beautiful thing about this place," she says. "I never have to move again."
"Many of our residents have made the same decision as Tina," said Sales Director Dan Simms. "Why wait? Seabrook's unmatched value replaces your cost of living and delivers more amenities and services than your current living situation."
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Article written by Julia Collins